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Current Affairs Today January 23 2018

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International Dam Safety Conference held in Thiruvananthapuram
International Dam Safety Conference – 2018 begun at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on 23rd January 2018. Dam safety conferences are organized every year under the Dam Safety Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP).
Highlights of International Dam Safety Conference – 2018:
This two-day conference was inaugurated by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan while Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union Minister of State for of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation presided over the inaugural function.
i. International Dam Safety Conference – 2018 is being organised by Central Water Commission in association with Kerala Water Resources Department (KWRD), National Institute of Technology – Calicut, Kerala State Electricity Board and College of Engineering, Trivandrum.
ii. A software programme Dam Health and Rehabilitation Monitoring Application(DHARMA) will also be launched during the conference. This programme is meant to digitize all dam related data…………………………….Click here to Read more

 India to host 16th International Energy Forum meet
Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan has announced that 16th International Energy Forum (IEF) Ministerial meeting will be held in New Delhi from 10th – 12th April 2018.
About 16th International Energy Forum Meet:
i. This event will be hosted by Government of India and co-hosted by the Government of China and South Korea.
ii. Representatives from 92 countries (including 72 member countries of IEF and 20 guest countries) will be participating in the meeting.
iii. Besides, representatives from international multilateral energy organisations, including the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and International Energy Agency (IEA) will also attend this meet.
iv. India had last hosted the IEF ministerial meet in year 1996.
Quick Facts about International Energy Forum:
♦ Established in – 1991
♦ Secretariat – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Bhubaneswar to host 2018 Asia Steel International Conference
Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha will host the 7th edition of the Asia Steel International Conference from February 6, 2018.
Details about 7th Asia Steel International Conference:
i. This conference will be organised by  Tata Steel and Indian Institute of Metals.
ii. 7th Asia Steel International Conference will serve as a platform for experts from across the world to discuss innovative and environment friendly technologies for making iron and promoting automation and digitisation in steel industry.
iii. Nearly 70 key speakers including those from countries such as Japan, China, Netherlands, the UK, Germany and the US will address this conference.
iv. This conference is held once in every three years. Last edition was held in 2015 at Yokohama, Japan.

Andhra Pradesh-Zurich sign sister state agreement
Andhra Pradesh State government has entered into a sister-state agreement with the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland.

Information about Andhra Pradesh-Zurich sister state agreement:
i. A letter of intent (LOI) in this regard was signed by Zurich Councillor and Head of the Department for Economic Affairs, Carmen Walker Späh and Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu in the presence of Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.
ii. Under this agreement, Andhra Pradesh and Canton of Zurich will collaborate in various areas through exchange of experience and information, industry-specific programmes and projects, establishment of joint work groups and regular expert-level consultations.
iii. As Zurich is very strong in technology and innovation, this agreement will be beneficial for Andhra Pradesh in areas of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Life Sciences, Environmental Technology and Urban Development.
Quick facts about Andhra Pradesh:
♦ Capital – Amaravati (de facto)
♦ Current Chief Minister – N Chandrababu Naidu
♦ Current Governor – E S L Narasimhan
♦ Important National Park – Papikonda National Park

Himachal Pradesh launches nutrition scheme for HIV-positive children
On 22nd January 2018, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur unveiled a state-level nutrition scheme for HIV-positive children, at a campaign conducted by Himachal Pradesh AIDS Control Society on the eve of National Youth Day, in Shimla.
Nutrition scheme for HIV-positive children:
i. As per this nutrition scheme, nutritional supplement will be provided to boost immunity of more than 400 youth within the age of 18.
ii. Himachal Pradesh has made HIV test compulsory for every expectant mother from 2018. Jai Ram Thakur urged to conduct awareness campaigns in schools and colleges.
iii. He also insisted to organize skits and street shows to spread awareness among village people.
iv.Himachal Pradesh Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that, the Education Department will collaborate with the Health Department to ensure education for HIV-positive children all over Himachal Pradesh.
Some wildlife sanctuaries in Himachal Pradesh:
♦ Chail Sanctuary – Chail
♦ Daranghati Sanctuary – Shimla
♦ Churdhar Sanctuary – Sirmour

4th edition of Bengal Global Business Summit held in Kolkata
On 16th and 17th January 2018, Bengal Global Business Summit 2018 was held at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, New Town, in Kolkata.
Bengal Global Business Summit 2018:
i. Partner countries of the Bengal Global Business Summit 2018 were: Japan, Italy, Poland, Germany, Republic of Korea, Czech Republic, Great Britain, France and United Arab Emirates.
ii. The theme of Bengal Global Business Summit 2018 was: “Bengal Means Business.”
Important MoUs signed during the summit are:
i. Department of Power & NES (West Bengal) with Government of Poland: MoU on Mining, Power & other sectors
ii. Department of Power & NES (West Bengal) with GIZ (Germany): Energy Action Plan for West Bengal
iii. Jadavpur University with Exeter University, Edinburgh University & Eotvos Lorand University: 3 MoUs for collaboration in several fields
iv. Presidency University with Edinburgh University: for Higher Education& Life Sciences
v. West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation with National Institute of Design:  to establish State Design Center in Kolkata
About West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation Limited (WEBEL):
♦ Headquarters – Kolkata
♦ Chairman – Shri Hirak N. Sengupta


Malta’s Valletta becomes European Capital of Culture
On January 20, 2018, Valletta, the capital of Malta was officially inaugurated as the European Capital of Culture.
European Capital of Culture 2018:
i. Every year, the European Union (EU)  designates a European city/cities as European Capital of Culture  for a period of one calendar year. During this period, series of cultural events are organised in the designated cities.
ii. During 2018, over 400 events will take place across Valletta and the neighbouring island of Gozo which is part of Malta.
iii. All events will revolve around three focal themes viz. Island Stories, Future Baroque and Voyages.
iv. Valletta is sharing the role of European Culture Capital 2018 with Leeuwarden, a city in the Netherlands.
Quick Facts about Malta:
♦ Capital – Valletta
♦ Currency – Euro
♦ Current Prime Minister – Joseph Muscat


Government of India, Uttarakhand and World Bank sign $120 mn loan agreement
On January 21, 2018, Government of India, State Government of Uttarakhand and the World Bank signed a 120 million dollar loan agreement for Uttarakhand Water Supply Program for Peri-Urban Areas.
Loan for improving access to water supply in Uttarakhand:
i. In context of this news, Peri-Urban denotes those areas in the plains of Uttarakhand that are officially classified as rural but exhibit urban features in terms of density of population and the structure of the economy.
ii. This programme will not only increase water supply coverage but will also ensure sustainable water supply service delivery in peri-urban areas.
iii. The programme envisages development and implementation of a service-oriented and efficient water supply policy for peri-urban areas, strengthening current monitoring and evaluation systems and providing incentives for adoption of water supply master-plans in peri-urban areas.
Quick Facts about Uttarakhand:
♦ Capital – Dehradun
♦ Current Chief Minister – Trivendra Singh Rawat
♦ Current Governor – Krishan Kant Paul
♦ Important National Park – Jim Corbett National Park

IMF projects 7.4 % growth for India in 2018
In its January 2018 update of the World Economic Outlook: Brighter Prospects, Optimistic Markets, Challenges Ahead, International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that Indian economy will grow at 7.4% in FY 2018-19.
Indian Economy’s Growth Prospect:
i. It is to be noted that in FY 2017-18, India lost its fastest growing economy tag to China owing to slowdown caused by demonetisation and the rollout of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
ii. However, IMF has forecasted that in FY 2018-19, India will reclaim fastest growing economy tag as China’s growth will slip to 6.6% against India’s 7.4%.
iii. For Global economic growth in current year, IMF has revised its forecast to 3.9%, faster than 3.7% forecast earlier in October  2017.
Quick Facts about International Monetary Fund (IMF):
♦ Founded in – 1945
♦ Headquarters – Washington D.C., US
♦ Current CEO – Christine Lagarde


India 5th most attractive market for investments
India has been adjudged as the 5th most attractive market for investments in a survey of CEOs conducted by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
i.In the survey, around 9 per cent of global CEOs consider India as one of the most important countries for growth.
ii. Interestingly India ranked above Japan which received 8 per cent share.…………………….. .Click here to Read more
Top 5 Most Attractive Markets for Investment:


RIL becomes India’s first firm to cross Rs. 6-lakh crore market cap
Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) has become the first Indian company to cross the  Rs. 6-lakh crore mark in market capitalisation as its share price touched a 52-week high of Rs. 974.5 on January 22, 2018.
Market Capitalisation of RIL:
i. Market value of a company’s outstanding shares is referred to as market capitalisation (m-cap). It is calculated by multiplying the current market price of company’s share with total number of outstanding shares.
ii. During January 22, 2018 (Monday) trading session, RIL share price shot up on account of strong FY 2017-18 Third Quarter earnings that were announced after market hours on January 19, 2018 (Frday).
iii. With Rs. 971.2 share price, RIL’s market cap stood at Rs. 615150 crore. In terms of market cap, RIL is followed by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) having market capitalisation of Rs. 595946 crore and HDFC Bank at Rs. 508648 crore.
Quick Facts about Reliance Industries Ltd.:
♦ Founded in – 1977
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Current Chairman – Mukesh Ambani


Srikumar Menon appointed as Ambassador of India to Republic of Angola
On 22nd January 2018, Srikumar Menon was appointed as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Angola.
Srikumar Menon – Ambassador of India to the Republic of Angola:
i. Srikumar Menon is currently the Ambassador of India to South Sudan. He has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Angola.
ii. He will soon take charge as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Angola.
About Republic of Angola:
♦ President – Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco
♦ Vice President – Bornito de Sousa

Dilip Chenoy appointed Director General of FICCI
On 22nd January 2018, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) appointed Dilip Chenoy as its Director General.
Dilip Chenoy – Director General of FICCI:
i. Dilip Chenoy had held various positions including the managing director and CEO of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), director general of Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures (SIAM) and deputy director general of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
ii. Dilip Chenoy’s role as Director General of FICCI will be to manage day-to-day administrative affairs of FICCI. Secretary-general of FICCI is Sanjaya Baru.
iii. Director General position of FICCI had been vacant since Arvind Prasad retired from the position two years back.
About National Skill Development Corporation India (NSDC):
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Head – Shree Manish Kumar

S Somnath takes charge as Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre’s director
S Somanath assumed charge as the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre at a function in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
S Somanath – Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC):
i. S Somanath replaces K Sivan as Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. S Somanath is currently the Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre at Valiamala, ‎in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
ii. The Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre deals with liquid engines and stages for all launch vehicles and satellite programs.
iii. S Somanath was Associate Director (Projects) of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and also Project Director of GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle.
iv.He joined ISRO in 1985. He was a team leader for Integration of PSLV.
About Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO):
♦ Headquarters – Bangalore
♦ Chairman – Dr. K. Sivan
♦ Established – 1969

Sudeep Lakhtakia appointed new DG of National Security Guard
On 19th January 2018, Sudeep Lakhtakia was appointed as the new Director General (DG) of National Security Guard (NSG).
Sudeep Lakhtakia – DG of National Security Guard (NSG):
i. Sudeep Lakhtakia is an IPS officer of the 1984 batch of Telangana cadre. He is at present the special DG of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) headquarters.
ii. He will replace SP Singh as DG (Director General) of National Security Guard. SP Singh retires from the post in the end of January 2018.
About National Security Guard (NSG):
♦ Known as black cat commandos
♦ Purpose – special forces unit to combat terrorism
♦ Established – 1984
♦ Functions under – Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)


“Sachin – A Billion Dreams” wins awards at 11th Tehran International FICTS Festival 2018
“Sachin: A Billion Dreams”, a biopic on Sachin Tendulkar, has won two awards at the 11th Tehran International FICTS Festival 2018, in Iran.
“Sachin – A Billion Dreams” – 2 awards at 11th Tehran International FICTS Festival 2018:
i. Helmer James Erskine won the the Best Director of a Long Documentary trophy and an honorary diploma for “Sachin – A Billion Dreams”.
ii. Producer of “Sachin – A Billion Dreams” Ravi Bhagchandka won the Special Award for the Best Film in the Long Documentary section.
About 11th Tehran International FICTS Festival:
♦ Dates – 16 to 18 January 2018
♦ Organized by – FICTS (Federation Internationale Cinema Television Sportifs) jointly with Olympic and Paralympic Committees, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of Iran


Siddharth Singh bags Swedish Open Junior International Series 2018
On 21st January 2018, Siddharth Pratap Singh won the men’s singles title of the Swedish Open Junior International Series 2018, in Uppsala, Sweden.
Siddharth Singh – men’s singles title of Swedish Open Junior International Series 2018:
i. Siddharth Singh won over Denmark’s Christophersen 21-15, 21-11 in the finals and won the men’s singles title of the Swedish Open Junior International Series 2018.
ii. Siddharth Singh is 19 years old. He hails from Raipur. This was his first international title. This was the first time he played outside Asia.
About Swedish Open 2018:
♦ Dates – 18 – 21 Janaury 2018
♦ Location – Uppsala, Sweden
♦ Prize Money – USD 10,000

West Indies to host 2018 Women’s World T20
ICC (International Cricket Council) has announced that, 2018 Women’s World T20, will be hosted by Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana and St Lucia of West Indies from 9 – 24 November, 2018.
West Indies to host 2018 Women’s World T20:
i. ICC has selected the three venues: Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana and St Lucia by bidding process.
ii. The preliminary matches will be conducted at the Guyana National Stadium and Darren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia. Semi-finals and finals will be held at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua and Barbuda.
iii. Australia, England, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka have qualified to participate in the 2018 Women’s World T20.
About ICC (International Cricket Council):
♦ Headquarters – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
♦ Chairman – Shashank Manohar
♦ President – Zaheer Abbas
♦ CEO – David Richardson

U-18 TT Rankings: Manav Thakkar rises to world No. 2
Manav Thakkar has become the first Indian to obtain the world No.2 position in the boys’ under-18 category of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings.
Manav Thakkar – world No. 2 in U-18 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings:
i. Number 1 position in the U-18 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings is occupied by Li Hsin-Yang of Chinese Taipei. 3rd rank is secured by Wang Chuqin of China.
ii. Manav Thakkar is 17 years old. He hails from Surat.
About International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF):
♦ Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland
♦ Members – 226 member associations
♦ President – Thomas Weikert


Former England football captain Jimmy Armfield dies, aged 82
On 22nd January 2018, Jimmy Armfield, former England football captain died due to cancer.
Death of Jimmy Armfield:
i. Jimmy Armfield was 82 years old. He is considered as one of the star players of team Blackpool. He is also a World Cup winner.
ii. His football career spun over 17 years with Blackpool team. In 2006, he was inducted into the Blackpool’s Hall of Fame.
About Blackpool Football Club:
♦ Founded – 1887
♦ Based in – Blackpool, Lancashire, England

Noted philanthropist Honsen Lyngdoh passes away
On 23rd January 2018, philanthropist Honsen Lyngdoh of Meghalaya died at his residence, in Shillong, Meghalaya.
Death of Honsen Lyngdoh:
i. Honsen Lyngdoh was 83 years old. He had been suffering from age-related ailments.
ii. He had received the National Citizens Award in 1992, honouring his contributions to the development of Meghalaya.
iii. He had funded many road construction projects in rural areas, even before the central government took initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.
About Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY):
♦ Launched – 25 December 2000
♦ Purpose – to provide good all-weather road connectivity to unconnected villages all over India